The structure of Chimakonde noun phrase

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study describes the structure of Chimakonde NP. The description is grounded on an assumption that an NP is one or more words that are built around a skeleton consisting of two levels, a phrase level and a word level, and acts as a syntactic unit. More importantly, these words that are built around a skeleton do not occur haphazardly. Therefore, this study seeks to identify and describe these words constituting an NP and their order, co-occurrence and recurrence as well as their upper limit in an NP. To accomplish this, the researcher collected data through questionnaires, focused group discussion, interviews and observation. The data was then analyzed using quasi-statistical and thematic approaches. The results show that nine dependents can co-occur with noun in an NP. These are distributives, demonstratives, possessives, numerals, quantifiers, associative, adjectives, relatives, and interrogatives. Some of these elements occupy fixed positions while others are flexible. Distributives invariably appear before the head noun while demonstratives are mobile in the determiner slot. Possessives are fixed immediately after the head noun. With the exception of relatives which occur in final position, numerals, quantifiers, adjectives and associative are relatively free to appear in any position after possessives. Finally, it was revealed that in a normal conversation, an NP with five dependents was processable among the speakers. Nevertheless, there is a need for further studies to focus on the function of an NP in a sentence as well as other linguistic aspects which fall out of the scope of this study.
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Makonde language, Noun, Chimakonde language, Bantu language
Jaffu, S.N (2010) The structure of Chimakonde noun phrase master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at